Armenian Soccer
Armenian Soccer

European… Super Bowl

Real Madrid won the Champions Cup, the most valuable trophy in European club competitions, for the fifteenth time, beating Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in the final. However, this does not seem to be the most important thing.

When I found out who would play in the final in London, I wasn’t very happy. That’s because I’ve seen Real Madrid in the five finals of this competition and they won all. So, I dreamed of some change, Paris Saint-Germain or Atletico Madrid, for a new club to win the cup for the first time, but unfortunately the dream turned out to be impossible to come true.

So, I wished Borussia the best, but I liked the German team for another reason, because their fans are among the European leaders when it comes to supporting the team and the atmosphere in the stands. At Wembley Stadium in London, the atmosphere was truly commendable an hour before the match. At that time, the sectors behind one of the goals were already largely occupied by Borussia fans. They waved from the large flags flying on them and swirled to the rhythms of the songs sung by them.

If cups and titles were awarded for fans’ support, Borussia would probably be among the best European clubs. Because they from Dortmund supported their players wonderfully throughout the final against Real, even when the result was no longer favorable to them. And it stopped a quarter of an hour before the end, when Dani Carvahal gave Real the lead with a header from a corner kick. A few minutes later Vinicius Junior scored the second goal.

Borussia coach Edin Terzic said that the match was even and his players could have even taken the lead in the first half. But when the game broke, Real showed their quality, which he summed up by saying: “That’s why they are champions.”

Interestingly, Terzic, who was leaving the press conference, was greeted with… applause. If I understood the clapping people’s intentions correctly, they were rewarding the coach for his team trying to fight a theoretically stronger rival as best they could.

Although nothing changes in football, because it cannot change. Effective always wins. Real was able to endure difficult moments and then finish off their opponent by scoring them mercilessly. Real has been painfully effective for years, which resulted in winning the Champions Cup for the fifteenth time.

This certainly pleases UEFA, for which the Champions League is the main brand that brings it the greatest income. And Real is the most recognizable brand in the world of the already gigantic football business.

For years, UEFA has been using the Champions League finals to promote its flagship product as much as possible and traditionally organizes the Champions Festival in the city that hosts the final. In London, it had an exceptionally extensive character, because the event was in as many as five places, and the city authorities decided to allocate one of the most important streets in the center — Regent Street — for it, closing it to vehicular traffic. Anyone who knows how hard it is to drive around London must admit that the decision was more than brave.

I have the impression that the Champions League final is increasingly starting to resemble… the Super Bowl, a gigantic marketing event in the United States organized on the final of the American football league. There, the key point is the performance of the biggest music stars in the match. Before the final, a real star also played at Wembley — Lenny Kravitz. And on the evening before the final, another concert of the British group Rudimental was organized as part of the Champions Festival in the city center at Trafalgar Square.

The Champions League is increasingly capturing the imagination, literally and figuratively. That’s why, just before the match, I was offered a ticket for 3.5 thousand pounds outside the stadium! It is true that it was a first category ticket, i.e. the best category, but the price was still shocking.

That’s why, after just a few dozen seconds of the final, three fans ran onto the pitch, and the fourth one was overpowered when he jumped over advertising banners. Such an event that attracts the attention of the entire football world, is a dream opportunity for many madmen to show themselves, regardless of the subsequent consequences.

These are the costs that must be incurred in this gigantic business. But even this painful image defeat in the first minute of the match generally, does not change the fact that the most satisfied person after the Champions League final was undoubtedly the UEFA accountant.

© Dariusz Kurowski exclusively for Armenian Soccer from London

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